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Police often do not have enough evidence against you to prove the offence when they question you. You may say something that may help the police prove the case against you.
Police only have a reasonable time to interview you and carry out further investigations once you have been detained. A reasonable time may be up to 6 hours, unless the police apply for the period to be extended (by detention warrant) up to a further 6 hours.
In reality, there are a number of procedures that are not included in the reasonable time period. These include time to allow you to communicate with a lawyer, to recover from intoxication or to wait for recording facilities.
It is an offence to refuse to answer a police question if you are concealing information about a serious indictable offence that would lead to a prosecution.
A serious indictable offence is an offence that has a maximum term of imprisonment of 5 years or more. The maximum term of imprisonment for refusing to answer is 2 years or 5 years if you gain some benefit from the information. A common example of this is when a family member of a drug dealer turns a blind eye to the supply of prohibited drugs.
The police may also require you to disclose your identity and provide proof of your identity in the situations below. It is an offence in these circumstances to fail or refuse to comply with this requirement without reasonable excuse. It is also an offence to give a false name, or an address other than your full and correct address.
The details that you are required to give within 24 hours of a car crash include your name and address, the owner’s name and address and vehicle registration details. You will also be required to provide an explanation of the circumstances of the crash. If you find yourself in this situation it would be wise to talk to a lawyer before giving your explanation. The maximum fine for non-compliance is $2200.
The decision as to whether to take part in an interview is a difficult one to make as there are often advantages and disadvantages of doing so. Each case is unique and our advice often varies from case to case. If you would like specific advice, we would be happy to speak with you on either 1300 168 676 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
No unfavourable inference can be drawn from a person refusing or failing to answer questions in the course of official questioning.
Before agreeing to an interview with police, you or your lawyer should ask the police officer investigating your matter these four questions:
If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.